Monthly Archives: April 2011

Dear Diary: A Year in Review

– Contributed by Wee C

My grandfather was a member of an old-school club. He was a diary-keeper. I’m not sure how many years he kept a diary, but I’d hazard to guess it was a practice he engaged in for nearly all of his adult life. They always looked the same – small, black, with the words ONE-YEAR DIARY pressed in gold or silver lettering on the front. He kept it beside his rocking chair in the living room; the same place he read the paper, visited with guests, and caught up on his daily rest. And I suspect all three of those things were what filled the pages. Day after day. Year after year.

The habit was one that I both admired and found baffling. I adored the simplicity of chronicling the day’s activities and the historical reference it provided. And, in fact, it’s a habit I’ve tried to form myself over the years. But I could never quite understand what he found to write about every single day; a fact which was the single stumbling block to my disgraceful, and ultimately non-existent, diary-keeping habits.

The desire to write about the evolution of life has, however, remained with me. I have never lost the intrinsic need to capture life in words, like a child catching a firefly in a jar in the hopes that its light will never burn out. For many reasons, in blogging I found the tool that allowed me to both express myself and to keep a journal of where life has taken me, what I have learned, and perhaps more importantly, what’s left to learn.

Today marks one year since my first blog post on this blog. April 24, 2010 was a milestone for me. Not because of what I wrote, but because of the journey I began and my ability to reflect on that journey today. Today, looking back through posts from the past year, I’m thankful to have adopted my grandfather’s habit of chronicling life. My methods would seem highly unorthodox and far-too-revealing for him, but the ability to reflect would no-doubt be appreciated.

After reviewing my old posts, what is abundantly clear is that worrying, fretting, working myself to death, and being all-too-high strung is so Wee C circa 2010. I read my posts from early last year and want to both hug this poor, tragic girl and give her a good shake. Gosh darn it, who was that girl? I was so busy buzzing about trying to impress the bosses, keep peace in the household, and ensure everyone (read: every.single.person.in.the.entire.world) loved me, that I completely lost myself in the process. It is so clear to me now just how inevitable a near-fatal crash was.

How was I scared to play Black Jack at the casino? Or why was staying at the party such a huge accomplishment? Going to the strip club seems like such a small hurdle now, but at one time it was one of life’s biggest milestones. And stopping long enough to meditate for ONE MEASLY HOUR seemed like I had accomplished a feat as significant as climbing to the top of Everest. In every one of these blog posts, I read the words and remember the feelings, but I simply do not know that girl any longer. She is someone I knew extraordinarily well, admired sufficiently and never, ever loved enough.

As the year progressed and I completed 30 Things, my marriage began to change and that brought a whole new perspective to how I viewed my life, my relationships and myself. In December I wrote a letter to myself five years into the future. I cried as I re-read it today. Only four months later and I’m dumbfounded by just how accurately I saw my life, despite the dark cloud of confusion hanging over it. I wrote to myself about a peace that was yet to come. Today, not five years from now, I am beginning to find it.

While today marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post, it also marks the first holiday in 11 years that I did not celebrate with my one-time husband and that part of my dear and beloved family. Today was a series of deep breaths, each one carrying me forward to the next. It was also a day of reflection and gratitude. Wee C circa 2010 could never have made it through today with as much composure as the current version did. Keeping a “journal” helped me to see, and celebrate, that, giving me a life flotation to make it through the day.

My grandfather has been gone for several years, but it seems there are some lessons that are learned well after the original lesson has been taught. As an old farmer, he understood that keeping a diary of significant happenings allowed you to better prepare for the future. He understood that you can never get here without having been there first. Today, I finally learned what he taught me.

Intention, it’s a beautiful thing!

– Contributed by Big L

Coming Soon!

I’m among a select group of beta testers for the next “strategy for joy” product being launched by the one and only Molly over at Stratejoy. It’s called Joy Juice and her teaser about this coming-soon product can be found by clicking here.  (And I strongly encourage you to get excited about this puppy, because it’s going to be delightful and uber affordable!)

In a nutshell, it’s a year’s worth of prompts for finding, reflecting on and celebrating joy in your life. Today, I responded to a prompt that asked me about my intentions. Intentions for my year, week and day. This one was especially timely for me, since I’ve been struggling to get clear on my intentions for the last three or four weeks….when I realized that I was well into 2011 and wasn’t feeling nearly as Gracefully Unique as I had originally hoped.

Rather than journal my response, I decided to get creative. I combined my goals for the year, my recent realizations about what conditions make me feel at my best, and my even more recent decisions about what is most important to me this year. And here they all sit, in one colourful, inspiring reminder:

Click Here to see Laura’s intentions, all of ’em!

Step 2 for Being Gracefully Unique: Be Authentic

– Contributed by Big L

In this post, #2 of 7 about being gracefully unique and honouring my values, I’m thinking about how to be authentic.

Authenticity – that feeling of being YOU and bringing the good, the bad, the ugly and the wonderful to the table – is one of the biggest, most important in achieving my goal of having a gracefully unique year.

This clip is an awesome interpretation of how to feel uniquely YOU in any given moment. (As an aside, Garden State is one of my favourite movies – and movie soundtracks – of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you should.)

I may not always make quirky moves and sounds in the run of a day (although sometimes I do!). But in order to feel alive, fulfilled and authentically ME, I want to honour my truths, needs and preferences as much as I can. I want to do things that make me feel GOOOOD, like:

  • Run
  • Practice yoga
  • Avoid dairy
  • Avoid sugar
  • Avoid pop and too much caffeine
  • Laugh
  • Dress the way I want to and have fun with clothes
  • Stretch and shake – get that blood flowing!
  • Drinks loads of water
  • Avoid meetings before 9 a.m.
  • Avoid answering emails on weekends
  • Spend time with my Mom, Dad and Hunny
  • Have girl talk with my favourite girls
  • Send an email or letter to my favourite far-away girls
  • Express anger and let it out, rather than bottle it up
  • Go for a walk in the sun
  • Sit outside, preferably downtown somewhere
  • Push back on a demand or deadline that doesn’t work for me
  • Let something go
  • Be honest with someone
  • Ask questions
  • Do one less thing today than planned
  • Say no to shackles and opt for soul stirring
  • Sit in silence for a while
  • Write a love letter, even if I don’t send it
  • Share positivity with someone
  • Cook something delicious and healthy
  • Hug and kiss
  • Learn something
  • Go somewhere new
  • Brainstorm…even if its with myself

What do you think? Is this a good list? What else should I add? What are things you do to feel unique and honour your truths? Help a sista out!